Parkview Baptist School is hiring a graduate of the school to come back and run it.
The board of trustees of the private Christian school in Baton Rouge selected Don Mayes, a 1988 alumnus, on Monday. He is set to start as headmaster in January.
Mayes said Parkview is very similar to his current school, Indian Rocks Christian School in Largo, Fla., near St. Petersburg. Mayes has worked there since 1999, serving as the school’s superintendent since 2002.
Mayes said he and his wife, April, whom he began dating while the two both attended Parkview, miss the place.
“We are excited to come back,” Mayes said. “Parkview has been good to us, and we just want to give back.”
“We are confident that Dr. Mayes has the experience, skills and passion to take (the school) to new heights,” board President Will Williams said in a written statement.
Parkview currently has about 1,400 students in grades kindergarten to 12.
Williams said the school has been looking for not only an able administrator, but someone who “can provide clear direction, inspiration and strong leadership.”
Mayes said it’s tough to leave a school midyear, but Indian Rocks is in good shape and will be able to handle the transition. He said he’s also happy to get an early start at Parkview and will have more time to get ready for the 2013-14 school year.
“Parkview is definitely a community school and serves the people of the community,” Mayes said. “I want it to keep that reputation.”
Parkview’s last headmaster, Melanie Ezell, was removed as headmaster in mid-August, just after the start of school, a removal that a board leader described at the time as due to a “difference in direction.” She had served as headmaster since March 2007.
Ezell’s two predecessors were likewise forced out by the boards at the time.
Since August, the head of the high school, Don Green, has served as interim headmaster. Green will now return to his old job.
Williams said Green was one of five candidates and one of the two finalists for the job.
After leaving Parkview, Mayes attended Marshal University in West Virginia where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Then he earned a master’s degree in Christian studies and then a doctorate in education from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
He has also worked as a missionary in Uganda, Mexico, England, China, Romania and Ecuador.
Through it all, Mayes said, he has maintained an affinity for his hometown of Baton Rouge.
“We do miss the food and the people. The culture is unique. You either identify with it or you don’t,” he said. “My wife is excited to just come back and eat crab claws.”